A Disclaimer: We all have to figure out what is best for our own family. What works for one, may not work for another. I am in no way trying to tell anyone else what they should do.
"Treat a person as he is, and he will remain as he is.
Treat him as he could be, and he will become what he should be."Reader's Digest March 2011
We all have parenting opinions, right?
I want to share one of mine. It came from my own mother, and I think she got it from hers.
Anyway, it worked for us.
I was never much into punishing my children. Especially for saying a non truth.
(I never liked to use the word 'lie' either.)
Children are not "liars" anymore than they are "thieves."
They are little humans who come into this world not knowing much.
They need to be guided and encouraged, not labeled. My opinion anyway.
Okay, this is what I did. Disagree with it all if you would like.
1. Don't ever ask a question to your child you already know the answer to. Don't say, "Did you hit your brother?" when you just saw that he did. I believe this encourages children to lie.
2. Don't punish a small child for not telling the truth. This will usually make them just try harder next time to lie better. It doesn't seem like it should work this way, but it does! Don't ever ignore it either. Instead, look them straight in the eye and say kindly and bluntly, "It's important you always tell the truth." Sometimes I added, "I need to always be able to trust you." and then leave it at that.
3. Praise them often for telling the truth when you know they have, by saying, "Thank you for being honest. I know I can count on you." Don't go overboard but state it matter of fact....like 'of course I can count on you.' not, 'oh my goodness I can't believe you told the truth!'
4. Don't use the word "liar" or "lie." Those are labels they do not need. They do not deserve. They are children with unfinished brains.
5. And the most important one of all. Be honest. If your children watch you make up stories to get out of things, they will probably do the same.
I give my parents credit for all of this.
Have I forgotten anything?
I know not everyone reading this will agree with me and the way we did things, and that's okay.
What has worked for your family?